Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Price of Leadership

Leadership implies responsibility.

The Pulitzer Prizes will be announced April 4, 2005.

I read the news for stories on leadership.

I am a "First Amendment and the media" idealist.

I believe that people labeled as “leader” should be scrutinized.


The news media can help celebrate good leadership.

Like the way the Pope faced death.

I also believe that the news should expose the leadership failures of public leaders who hold positions of power. Through editorials and investigative reporting and commentary.

In our future, the news media can help us get better leaders.

Here is what I think about leadership and responsibility.

I learned as an Army officer that authority can be delegated while responsibility cannot.

As leaders grow, they accept more and more ultimate responsibility, even if they do delegate some authority. Promotions are granted on the basis of potential to accept these responsibilities, not as rewards for past exercises of authority. That’s how things are supposed to work, I think.

Debating and deciding whether or not a leader is responsible for something is a national sport that we all can and should play as citizens in a democracy.

Founded on the principle that all men are created equal, citizens of the US are supposed to hold sacred the idea that leaders rise by merit and hold positions of authority only on continued successful performance of all their duties. I would like to export this idea.

We should have no kings who can do no wrong.

Those who want to rise higher must accept a larger measure and wider scope of responsibility.

The platoon leader is promoted to company commander when he or she is ready to accept responsibility for everything that happens in all of the platoons in the company.

And so it should go.

Just making decisions isn’t leadership. Just making decisions is management.

Decisions are easy, good decisions are harder, and owning up to ones decisions is the hardest thing of all.

We should have no kings who can do no wrong.

Under a Constitutional democratic republic ideal, the old maxim Rex non potest peccare (“The King can do no sin”) is supposed to have only limited application.

The elected head is responsible for everything that happens in his administration, or he is not worthy to hold the position.

The buck stops there; at least it is supposed to.

Leadership is a fully revocable privilege; positions of leadership must be earned every day.

Leadership is measured by deeds.

"Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing."

“If you want to lead me to Jesus you'd better find a better way
‘Cause your life is speaking so loud I can't even hear a word you say”

Contemporary examples of failure of leadership are here, there, and everywhere today.

Abu Ghraib is one. Pulitzer winner Seymour M. Hersh has written on it.

Not holding leaders responsible ensures we will get no leadership at all.

Each of us can and must lead.

And we are responsible.

Requiescat in pace.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:53 AM  
Blogger oZ said...

check out the above link. thanks anonymous.

12:37 PM  
Blogger polit thoughts said...

Thanks Anonymous!

Great video - here are the lyrics in English for those like me who don't speak the language.

We're all living in America
America is wonderful
we're all living in America

When we dance I want to lead
when you turn yourself around alone
let us control you a bit
I'll show you how to walk right

We create a lovely round dance
the freedom plays from all violins
music comes from the White House
and in front of Paris stands Mickey Mouse


I know the very useful steps
and I will protect you from missteps
and who does not want to dance at the end
does not know that he must dance

We create a lovely round dance
I will show you the direction
to Africa comes Santa Claus
and in front of Paris stands Mickey Mouse


We're all living in America
Coca Cola, Wonderbra
we're all living in America

This is not a love song
this is not a love song
I don't sing my mother tongue
no, this is not a love song


We're all living in America
Coca Cola, sometimes war
we're all living in America

3:08 PM  

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